England and Wales recorded 207,384 abortions for residents last year, the highest ever number.
Government statistics show the total number of abortions, including non-residents, was even higher, with 209,519 taking place in 2019, an increase of 3.4 per cent from the previous year.
The figures released by the Department of Health and Social Care also reveal that there were over 600 abortions of unborn children diagnosed with Down’s syndrome and 17 where the baby had cleft lip or cleft palate.
The statistics have been released as Westminster prepares to finalise imposing new abortion laws on NI.
Earlier this week, a Westminster committee confirmed its intention to impose revised abortion regulations on Northern Ireland, ahead of a vote in the House of Commons.
Despite the Northern Ireland Assembly rejecting the liberal regulations, the Delegated Legislation Committee voted 15-2 for them to move on to a vote in the House of Commons.
MPs Carla Lockhart and Sir John Hayes spoke out passionately against the regulations.
The new figures reveal that there were a total of 3,183 abortions on the grounds of disability, a 53 per cent increase in the last ten years.
A cross-party group of MPs is bringing forward a Private Members’ Bill to try to clarify that minor disabilities should not be grounds for abortion.
Fiona Bruce, who is leading the move, described it as “a sensible law change” that all MPs should support.
Ciarán Kelly, The Christian Institute’s Deputy Director, said: “At a time when Westminster is rushing through highly liberal abortion laws in Northern Ireland, these figures are a stark reminder about where a culture of abortion leads.
“Making abortion more readily available only leads to more abortion; that means more suffering and more lives lost.
“The rise in abortion on grounds of disability is particularly shocking. We desperately need to reclaim a mindset that says these lives are worth living.”